1. johndockus says:

    The first one makes me think: Suprematism for Tots. Not a bad idea, but bland what you came up with. The blocks have too much sameness, thrown across the picture plane without rhyme or reason. They’re all just spaced out, none touching, removing any dynamism. Probably the most sterile composition you could’ve come up with. Nonsense is preeminently okay, a sheer delight, but not “No sense”. There must be at least rhyme in visual impact for the kiddies. Dr. Seuss had the right idea. Anyway, if each block is like a word, all these blocks are like “and” & “so” & “from” – one wild and strange and funny shaped block among them would completely change the dynamic and tickle the kiddies into a state of silent wonder. Don’t be a square, Joe.

    At a glance the second one with marks, especially that hot pink makes me think: cheap women’s makeup. Spilt fingernail polish. You might position a Barbie Doll in there with running mascara for a miniature fashion photo shoot on the naughty side. I’m such a bad man.

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Thanks for the note, John. I might reconsider given yr insights. But here’s a trigger warning for you: it’s about cats, so you probably won’t get past the cover of this one in any case.

      1. johndockus says:

        Thought I might have offended you with this one, Joe. Glad I didn’t and you’re keeping the mind open, tolerating me. I have this mean sarcastic streak in me, a sometimes provocative sense of humor, though deeper down I really am good natured.

        I have no clue how this cover sketch of yours by the visual alone could be related to cats. No doubt Hep Cats. With one Hep Cat wearing a thimble strapped to its head, and another with a pencil sharpener hanging around its neck, with a few curls of pencil shavings laying around, maybe a little ball of yarn can be rolling through the blocks: alphabet blocks spelling out the title of the book. One “Linker Log” should also be strategically placed within the composition. On that should be carved your name.

        1. Joe Linker says:

          No worries. Well, the book has a few hep cats in it (all depends on how you define hep), but mainly it’s a concrete poetry effort. I just thought you should know, going in, that you might want to wear your anti-boring shirt. As for the cover, it’s a mystery how it relates to cats. Might not.

          1. johndockus says:

            Three’s a charm for ideas: looking at the wood blocks and their colors and how you have them arranged, I thought also with the kind of smart-aleck drollery the kiddies might like: “Broadway Boogie Woogie for Blockheads”, with a nod to Piet Mondrian. Mondrian is said to have been inspired to make his Broadway Boogie Woogie painting when he first moved to NYC, reflecting the grid of Manhattan, as well as by the Jazz popular at the time. I imagine the Hep Cats being perfectly at home standing on a Mondrian Painting as if they were standing on a street corner of 5th Avenue waiting for the light to turn red so they can cross.

            Yes, I am anti-boredom. I am Hep to it, Man. But I like to stay under the radar, working by stealth: Cat-like in my way. Don’t want to have any run-ins with the Law or the self-righteous moral guardians. Wearing shades and a beret, I stand on the street corner with a black trench-coat on, with my creative ideas tucked inside, only flashing one or another when the time is right.

            You won’t believe some of the dirty looks I get.

            1. Joe Linker says:

              In reply to the boredom issue. Boring is a reflexive verb. Can we find something of interest in things that are intrinsically boring? That is what an artist does. This is also the problem with academics and other severe critics. Cynicism and sarcasm are easier than satire.

  2. bristlehound says:

    If the book is about cats and is for kids – what about a cover with cats and kids? Use one of your Hep Cats, that skinny one. B

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Thanks, B. Constraints. But I am actually encouraged by the response to this, what I thought was, a simple post. Who knew? But you artists! As John Dockus said, no sense is not acceptable. So, I will try for just that, no sense. Try and make sense of that!

      1. johndockus says:

        Well, now I backtrack. I could see “No sense” as being a sort of postmodern or Dada art strategy. Just roll the color blocks like dice and glue them where they land. You can do things which remove as much as possible any human indication or trace, pushing it into an indifferent randomness. Strictly speaking, that would still not be “No sense”, but it would be moving toward it.

        But what would be the point and intention of doing that in the production of a children’s book? How many kids are naturally interested in postmodern theory and aesthetics?

        I agree absolutely that with imagination anything “boring” can have life breathed into it. Not only artists do this, taking it to a more involved and intensive degree, but so do parents who play with their children, having fun with them while teaching them lessons, or grandparents when they sit a young child on their knee and tell them a story at night, not wanting the young child to shiver in fear when the lights are turned off. This application of imagination to what frightens, or to what totally bores, to ward off the scary monster that would eat one or to spark inert matter back to life, is completely natural and universal.

        I’d argue that “No sense”, the realm of “No sense”, is like a trap door under the bed which falls though black space into infinity. If you fall through it, you’d shed each sense, one after another, first losing sight, then taste and smell, then hearing, eventually losing all feeling, and then you’d evaporate into thin air! At last the flame of consciousness would be snuffed out, and you’d become One with the Nothing. You’d become nothing. That’s how I’d tell it to the kids, and I bet you some of them would start crying.

        You’re a scary dude, Joe. I’m gonna warn parents about you. We gotta keep your subversively nihilistic books out of the library.

        1. Joe Linker says:

          All the world’s a stage,
          And all the men and women merely players:
          They have their exits and their entrances;
          And one man in his time plays many parts,
          His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
          Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
          And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
          And shining morning face, creeping like snail
          Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
          Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
          Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
          Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
          Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
          Seeking the bubble reputation
          Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
          In fair round belly with good capon lined,
          With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
          Full of wise saws and modern instances;
          And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
          Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
          With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
          His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
          For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
          Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
          And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
          That ends this strange eventful history,
          Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
          Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

          Jacques, from Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Act II Scene VII

  3. philipparees says:

    Shakespeare tends to have a terminal effect upon a disputation!

    1. johndockus says:

      One might say rather: terminal and rerouting. Shakespeare’s writing is an Eternity Machine. Feed in the raw material, turn the crank, and the richest tapestry of music imaginable comes out.

  4. bristlehound says:

    Shakespeare would be the perfect Hep Cat. Kids would love a cloaked and bearded Hep Cat, swanning his/her way into the scene. As “Shakespeare”or perhaps one of the many creations of same, enters the scene leaving other cats gob-smacked and in wonderment, kids would be rolling with laughter.
    Love your geometric cats Joe, they might just fit the bill.
    Great banter my right angled friend.B

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